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Heininger v. Dept. of Registration & Education

OCTOBER 21, 1964.




Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. CHARLES S. DOUGHERTY, Judge, presiding. Affirmed. MR. JUSTICE DRUCKER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

This is an appeal from a decision affirming an order revoking the license of plaintiff to practice dentistry in Illinois.

A complaint, filed with the Department of Registration and Education on March 28, 1960, by Edgar T. Stephens, Relator, charged eighteen violations of the Illinois Dental Practice Act (Ill Rev Stats 1959, c 91, §§ 60a-72). Plaintiff did not file an answer.

Hearings were held by the Board of Dental Examiners in 1960 with two witnesses testifying, Relator Stephens and plaintiff. The Board of Dental Examiners in its Report of Findings and Recommendations on September 19, 1961, found plaintiff guilty of unprofessional conduct *fn1 and the Department of Registration and Education adopted that report. On February 5, 1962, plaintiff's license was revoked. Subsequently plaintiff's complaint for administrative review was filed, and on November 27, 1963, the Circuit Court affirmed the order of revocation.

The March 28, 1960, complaint focuses on three areas of alleged violations. Chronologically, the first series of violations pertains to 1926-1939. *fn2 These violations were based on extensive national advertising whereby Heininger solicited dental patronage, particularly for the manufacture, repair, relining and reproduction of full and partial dentures; that in said advertising Heininger held himself out to the public as a "Specialist in Postal Prosthodontia" although he was never licensed as such. The second collection of violations relates to plaintiff's professional association with Clark Dental Laboratory. The Third division of the complaint relates to plaintiff's operation of the Ashland-Belmont Dental Laboratory at 954 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago.

Plaintiff was an adverse witness at a hearing held on July 18, 1960, and on subsequent dates. In his testimony he disclosed that:

I am engaged in the practice of dentistry. My office is located at 954 Belmont. I have been there approximately a year and two, three months. I am engaged in the general practice of dentistry. I have no other office in Chicago. I am open every day except Sunday from 9:00 to about 6:00, 7:00.

Heininger detailed the operation of a dental laboratory at the Belmont address:

I started my work at the 954 West Belmont address about 14 or 15 months ago. I have conducted an office there ever since. I am there now. My own dental laboratory is located at that address also. I consider the whole thing a dental office. Every dental office has a laboratory. . . . There is a room for a laboratory bench work, so there would be three rooms. I do not have any employees there. I do the dental work and any laboratory work. I own this business myself.

Plaintiff elaborated on work which he performed at the 954 Belmont laboratory:

I have no employees in my present place of practice at 954 West Belmont. I do laboratory work for one or two other dentists. One is Dr. Nelson. He brings it in, I do the work, and then he picks it up. . . . I don't recall the name of the other dentist. I did work for him seven or eight months ago.

Thirty-nine exhibits were introduced at the hearing. Four are pertinent to violations relating to the Ashland Belmont Laboratory. They include: (1) a business card, (2) two photographs of signs on the building facade and (3) an advertisement in the Classified Telephone Directory. The format of the business card was: "Li 9-4585/Ashland-Belmont Dental Laboratory — Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m./954 West Belmont Ave. Chicago, Ill." Plaintiff admitted that the card ". . . is a business card used in my practice of dentistry at 954 West Belmont, where I am now."

One photograph was of the front window of the laboratory. In large dark block letters against a light background was inscribed: "Ashland Belmont Dental Laboratory." Beneath the inscription in small dark letters was: "Dr. S. Heininger, Dentist." Another picture showed the door of the 954 Belmont building. Affixed to the door was a prominent sign: "Dental Laboratory — Hours Daily — Mon. thru Fri. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. — Sat. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — S. Heininger DDS — Gr 7-3751." In the 1960 Chicago Red Book Classified Telephone Directory, at page 570, under the general listing for "Dental Laboratories" was a two-inch, one-column advertisement for Ashland-Belmont Laboratories. The display: "ASHLAND BELMONT DENTAL LABORATORIES — NORTH — LAKEVIEW SHOPPING AREA — Manufacturing & Repairing of Dental Plates — Serving the Dental Profession for 19 years — (At the Belmont "L" Station) — 954 W. Belmont — Gr 7-3751."

Among the issues presented are the provisions of the statute which relate to: (1) practicing dentistry under a name other than appears on the license issued by the Department of Education and Registration and (2) advertising via media which calls attention ...

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